OPPOSITION KIRIBATI PARLIAMENTARIANS ACCUSE LOCAL MEDIA OF PRO-GOVERNMENT REPORTING

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TARAWA, Kiribati (January 27, 1999 - PACNEWS/Radio Kiribati)---A leading member of Kiribati's parliamentary opposition, South Tarawa MP Harry Tong, says opposition members are unhappy with biased reporting by the local media in favor of the government.

Tong said the Kiribati media, especially Radio Kiribati and the weekly newspaper Te Uekeraa, have recently given glowing accounts of government activities without opposing views and comments.

Te Uekeraa's Publications Manager, Ngauea Uatioa, said the newspaper's stories are based on facts and denies that it favors any side. He said Tong should provide proof of bias by the newspaper.

Even the government complains about the alleged anti-government slant of some stories in Te Uekeraa, Uatioa noted, which he said shows the newspaper is doing its duty properly.

A Radio Kiribati spokesman has also denied that the station's recent reports were pro-government. He said Radio Kiribati carries news from the government because of the reliability of the source.

The spokesman said all news broadcast on Radio Kiribati are verified and any item that needs further verification will wait until all sources have been contacted.

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